Democratic Candidates Debate ‘Single-Payer,’ But What Does That Mean?

(By – Julie Rovner, (Kaiser Health News)

Health care has emerged as one of the flash points in the Democratic presidential race.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has been a longtime supporter of a concept he calls “Medicare for All,” a health system that falls under the heading of “single-payer.”

Sanders released more details about his proposal shortly before the Democratic debate in South Carolina Sunday night. “What a Medicare-for-All program does is finally provide in this country health care for every man, woman and child as a right,” he said in Charleston.

Sanders’ main rival for the nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has criticized the plan for raising taxes on the middle class and said it is politically unattainable.  “I don’t want to see us start over again with a contentious debate” about health care, she said Sunday night.

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Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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